The coronavirus…are two words we hear so often everywhere we turn these past few weeks. We can’t escape it, and yet we are all living through it together. Many of us feel anxious and scared, and at the same time we find ourselves grieving. As therapists, we are here for anyone who needs us. We make sure our clients are okay. We help them navigate through this stressful time in their lives. The Coronavirus has brought a disruption to the life we once called normal. We are all learning to adjust what it is like to stay home. For a moment, we want to share with you all what it has been like for us, here at L&B Counseling, and how the coronavirus has affected our team.
How has The Coronavirus impacted your life?
“There have been some positive things like getting to spend a lot more time with my family. Weekends are no longer running around to events but we actually get to slow down and do things as a family. We are playing board games and coming up with ways to entertain ourselves that are not technology dependent. I get to get home earlier and eat as a family. – Trent
“I’ve had to be flexible with my work environment-working at home, with 2 kids and a yappy dog.
-I have to balance trying to work while my kids are also trying to navigate school online and what to do with their excess time.
-more family time (board games, bike rides, green way walks, basketball outside, watching movies)
-I’m intentional in having virtual chats with my family and friends
-I’ve had to get creative with my exercise routine-trying out new/virtual workouts online
-I’ve realized how many day to day things I take for granted (now that I can’t do them anymore)-my usual workout, yoga class, running to target/marshalls/starbucks/etc. whenever I want, meeting my sister for coffee, friend supper club, etc.” – Megan
“COVID-19 has caused me to face my fears again because I am worried for the health of my family members, as well as my own. Due to my medical history and having battled cancer, the virus has brought back memories where my health became my top priority. Unfortunately, it has also brought out fears because I am Asian-American. I admit I have been paranoid to go to stores by myself incase I might receive racial comments or looks from others. I’ve been afraid for my parents because they are much older, and scared they may become victims of racial crimes. However, I am reminded that with the bad there is always some good as well. Since I am confined to my home, I get to be with my fiancé and my 2 dogs. I am able to take my dogs on daily walks and spend more quality time with my fiancé.” – Minh
“This coronavirus situation has certainly elevated my level of anxiety. I’m very worried about becoming sick or one of my family members becoming sick. I know there are a lot of individuals out there who are currently grieving for a loved one, which breaks my heart. It’s a scary feeling when leaving the house or when someone you love leaves the house. I also feel discouraged with the economic hardships that many people are going through right now. There are so many jobs that can’t be performed at home. It’s a very stressful time for everyone. We are all worried about catching this virus as well as financially providing for our families through a tough economic environment. To put it bluntly, this whole situation really stinks. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It really stinks.” – Kevin
“I am confined to my house now which I thought was going to be worse than it really is. Just moving to a new house actually has given me time to do stuff around the house instead of putting it off for a later time. I have been active at home and I am able to spend more time with my wife and dog.” – Michael
“The coronavirus has resulted in me having to work from home, not because I am concerned about my own safety as much as I am concerned for the safety of my mother and mother-in-law, who live with my husband and kids. It has impacted my ability to go out window shopping – which I do for fun frequently, hang with close friends in the Charlotte area, and stopped my church from meeting. Nevertheless, while it is easy to see how the corona virus has negatively impacted my life, I also see how it has impacted me positively. I feel as though, my husband and I are spending less money, it gave me some time to declutter and organize areas of my home I have been trying to get to for a while, spend lots of time with my kids, and also do some painting.” – Sade
How has the Coronavirus affected your job as a mental health therapist?
“The Coronavirus has changed the way we do counseling. In some ways it has allowed us to get outside more and be flexible with our time by meeting people at the park or greenway. In other ways it has allowed us to adopt technology to reach out to our clients. Some things I I miss are: seeing my clients in person and being able to get out of the office with them, working on ways to challenge their depression or anxiety, and I miss seeing my team each day.” – Trent
“As much as I love being home, I realized I had to learn quickly how to separate my home life from my work life. I realized how much I miss seeing my clients in person. Being able to meet with them virtually has been helpful, but I am missing the connection I can make with them when we see each other face-to-face. I have also learned that I don’t like staring at a screen for hours at a time, and working from home has made me very technology dependent. Working virtually has challenged me to get creative during sessions with my clients. Although, doing virtual therapy helps and I’m still able to be there for my clients during this time, I really miss the interaction I get. I’ve also realized how much I miss being in my office and seeing our team.” – Minh
A major part of my job involves engaging my clients through the use of activities and sports. Unfortunately, I am not able to do this as effectively through the video chats. I am having to get creative in figuring out ways to keep my clients engaged. I just got a PS4 so I am hoping to engage with some of my clients over a game of NBA2K, Madden, or Minecraft (no Fortnite unfortunately). Once thing I miss is seeing all of my clients face to face as I believe this is the best way for me to convey trust, empathy, and the presence of a safe environment. I am finding it difficult to convey those things over video chats.” – Kevin
“The Coronavirus has made my job harder in some ways but also allows me to be more innovative and creative. Not seeing clients face to face makes counseling harder due to distractions, not being able to read body language, and not being able to be engaging as much is hard. But I have been creating and learning new ways to be more engaging with clients. This time has also allowed me to expand my counseling skills by learning new techniques and attending virtual trainings.” – Michael
“The Coronavirus has impacted my ability to meet with my clients face-to-face, which is frustrating at times, because there are so many more fun and engaging activities I can do with clients in person than I can do virtually. The virus has also resulted in my clients encountering less stress, which seems positive, however, can add to the challenge of those with anxiety and depression because, those with anxiety are comfortable not being challenged in any way and those with depression may be struggling with escapes and distractions to lift dark cloud. It also put my team members meeting together and having no groups.” – Sade
In some comforting way, we know that we are all in this together, and we can get through it together.
Written by: Minh Bui